by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Edmond, Oklahoma is where you will find The Veraden, a home for retirees and their families; assisted living, independent living and memory care. Greeted by a friendly staff member, I was led back to speak with Danna Johnson, RN, Executive Director.
Danna was excited to tell me some news. “The Veraden has a new memory care director, Patty James, as of April 2019 and she is definitely a God sent,” said Danna. “I can’t tell you what a blessing she has been to us. Up until now, it was as though our three levels of care have been like three different communities, but now, we are one big family community. Patty brought life back to The Veraden and the residents seem to be drawn together,” she added. “I can’t believe how much of a difference Patty has made.”
Two people entered the room. “I want to introduce you to a very special couple,” Danna said. “This is Bill and Barbara Hubbard. The couple shook my hand and sat down. “They have lived here for almost two years now,” Danna commented. Bill is always willing to help us in any situation. In fact, did you see all of the pretty flowers and hanging plants in front of the Veraden? He is the one responsible for them,” Danna said with a smile.
“We have a lot of volunteers from the assisted living and independent living come in and help with the memory care residents,” Danna said. “We have volunteers that help plant the gardens, plant tomatoes, make arts and crafts, bingo, singing in the choir, playing a musical instrument…the list could go on and on. Bill does a little bit of everything,” Danna commented. “Bill and Barbara are such a blessing to us,” she said.
It wasn’t that long ago that Patty James got together with Bill and Barbara to arrange for a special donation for the memory care to The Veraden. Bill had heard that fish aquariums help dementia patients, (Dementia-A severe impairment or loss of intellectual capacity and personality integration due to the loss of or damage to neurons in the brain.) Barbara is one of the residents that suffer from dementia. Bill, being the kind-hearted person he is, decided to donate a 360-gallon aquarium, measuring 8 foot by 2 foot to the memory care community. Complete with beautiful fish and tiny blue lights surrounding the aquarium, it is a sight to behold! The fish in the aquarium are beautiful; it is very relaxing to all of the residents. There are chairs close to the aquarium so the residents can sit and look at the fish for as long as they want to.
When I asked Bill what his overview of The Veraden was he didn’t hold back his feelings. “Oh, this place is great. We couldn’t ask for better care than we get here. Everyone is so friendly and we consider the others here as our family. I think this is an excellent place to be for this stage of our lives. We have plenty of space, there are always activities going on, we have it all here,” he said.
Bill and Barbara have five children and 7 grandchildren. Through their many acts of kindness, the love shines through in so many ways. “I want to help others in any way that I can,” Bill said. “I will continue to do so as long as I am able.” Bill took Barbara’s hand and walked out of the room hand-in-hand.
A special ceremony for Bill and Barbara Hubbard was given in honor of the donation of the beautiful fish aquarium to The Veraden Memory Care Community. What a loving and thoughtful gift!
The Advantages of a fish aquarium for people with dementia……
The colors, motion and sounds associated with an aquarium can serve as a form of therapy to relax residents of the long-term care facility. The aquarium is a piece of living furniture that provides a window into the watery world of aquatic creatures. Aquariums can bring a wonderful aesthetic to the decor of a nursing home, helping to replicate the more soothing, less sterile environment that the resident formerly experienced in a home setting. It can also help induce conversation between residents and between residents and staff, stimulating the mind and curiosity of the viewer. -DeSchriver and Riddick-
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